Feb 4, 2022 • 37M

Do Morning Pages Work? Episode 301: Is this, or is it not, the Artist's Way?

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Appears in this episode

Entertaining, actionable advice on craft, productivity and creativity for writers and journalists in all genres, with hosts Jessica Lahey, KJ Dell'Antonia and Sarina Bowen.

KJ here. Sarina wanted to try Morning Pages, the most famous ritual from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way—a book that, tbh, has never, ever floated my boat, just as my resistance to morning pages—in my mind, a variation on journaling, which I have also never liked—has been strong.

But Sarina wanted to try it. So we did, she in a fairly systematic way and me in what I still have to concede was more than a little half-assed. And now, having recorded the podcast, and kinda-sorta-promised to try this again later, I write these show notes still unconvinced. I already do creative things. I don’t think I need to free up my creativity. Is there really anything WRONG with only wanting to do the thing if it makes a thing—something someone might read, in the case of writing, but in other arts as well? That’s how I am. I’ll knit a hat, but I’m not just gonna sit here and knit. I like to draw but I like to share what I drew. And there’s no better art than making beautiful, tasty cookies and cakes.

I get it. Perhaps that’s a very Puritan approach to creativity, but I don’t feel like I only have “permission” to do it if it’s useful. I feel like it’s only fun if it ends in something. I go back and forth on whether that’s a good thing.

Well, these are unusual shownotes. Do you like Morning Pages? Do you do them? Every day, some days, always at the same time… how? What do you think comes from it? We’d love to hear your answers in the #AmWriting Facebook Group.

Links from the Pod

The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron

Video: Julia Cameron discusses morning pages

The prewriting concept comes from the excellent book From 2K to 10K by Rachel Aaron

Becca Symes, The Quitcast

Atomic Habits, James Clear


Sarina: Loud is How I Love You, Mercy Brown

KJ: Apples Never Fall, Liane Moriarty

KJ also mentioned The Nineties by Chuck Klosterman and Major Labels, A History of Popular Music in Seven Genres by Kelefa Sanneh

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